Mchinji District Health Office (DHO) has warned that it will be forced to employ stiffer measures if bicycle taxi operators in the district do not adhere to the sanitary measures as preventive attempts to Covid-19 pandemic.
Mchinji DHO Public Relations Officer (PRO), Owen Chataika said it was worrisome that bicycle taxi operators in the district are failing to follow hygiene practices despite the DHO’s office orienting them on the same.
He said if the trend persists, the DHO would be forced to liaise with law enforcers to help them in getting people adhering to sanitary practices as a way of ensuring that everyone partakes in the fight against Covid-19.
“It was unfortunate to learn that bicycle taxi operators are not adhering to our precautionary measures against COVID-19. They were the first group to be oriented on the pandemic, and we shared with them the precautionary sanitary practices the ministry of health is encouraging,” the PRO said.
Chataika said if the bicycle taxi operators continue with their noncompliance to the sanitary measures where a bucket of water and soap are to be used at any business place, they would work hand in hand with the Police to ensure that everyone in the district as part of the fight against the pandemic.
“If they do not comply, we will be forced to involve the police to help us in seeing to it that everyone is adhering to all the precautionary measures,” he added.
Bicycle Taxi Operators Committee Chairperson at Mchinji main town, Dyson Phiri confirmed meeting with health officials where among other things they were advised on the best hygiene practices to be followed.
He said his committee was currently deliberating an impromptu meeting with all members to map a way forward regarding how they would mobilize funds to purchase all required materials needed on their part to ensure hygiene persists at their business places.
“We were indeed briefed on COVID-19 by district health officials on the precautionary measures that we need to follow. It may appear that we are indeed not adhering to what we were told.
The situation has been as such because it has been difficult for us to meet at one place to discuss how we will mobilize resources on the same,” he said
Phiri said as it was right now, their committee would arrange a quick meeting anytime soon to see to it that they have sanitary facilities in all the places bicycle taxi operators are doing their businesses.
According to the Chairperson, Mchinji has over 3,600 bicycle taxi operators from 31 different locations in the district.